After an overnight social media frenzy that included false reports of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death attributed to an unknown French news sources, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday that Prince Philip will simply be retiring in the fall — when he’s 96 years old.
The speculation began when royal household staff from as far as Scotland were summoned to the palace for an emergency meeting today.
“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen,” the palace said in a statement.
“Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen,” the royal household added. “Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.”
Prince Philip is patron, president or a member of over 780 organisations, the statement added, noting he’d “continue to be associated” with the groups “although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.”
Queen Elizabeth II, meanwhile, who recently turned 91, “will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.” Her husband turns 96 next month.
The queen is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Her heir apparent, Prince Charles, is already 68 years old.
Elizabeth and Philip celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November.
— 5News (@5_News) May 4, 2017